Lisa Beare, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, announced a provincial funding initiative aimed at making an affordable housing project under construction in Maple Ridge more affordable for its eventual tenants. (BC Government/Special to The News)

B.C.’s community sport organizations to receive $1.5 million to survive pandemic

Tourism Minister Lisa Beare says the funding will help many of the province’s 4,100 local sports organizations

Community sport organizations in British Columbia will share $1.5 million in provincial government funding to help them survive the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lisa Beare, B.C.’s minister of tourism, arts and culture, says the funding will help many of the province’s 4,100 local sports organizations facing financial hardship without their registration fees, event revenues and sponsorships.

Beare says the pandemic has been difficult for community swimming, gymnastics, baseball and other local sports that rely largely on volunteer support but also have fixed costs.

A Victoria-area baseball team accompanied Beare for her outdoor announcement on the front lawn of the B.C. legislature.

Beare says the funding will be provided to amateur organizations and does not apply to B.C.’s semi-professional hockey and soccer leagues, that are also facing financial difficulties in the pandemic.

She says the $1.5 million contribution is accompanied by federal Heritage Canada funding of $3.4 million to assist B.C.’s provincial, disability and multi-sport organizations.

“We have 4,100 various community organizations throughout the province, and it could be your local swim club or your local gymnastics team or community soccer club,” Beare said. “These funds are going to be for the operational costs of the organizations so that they are able to keep their doors open.”

The Canadian Press

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